Thursday, April 9, 2015

Join Us for Friday's Meeting: Draft Records -- Not Just for Those Who Served

On Friday, April 10, 2015, at 1:00 pm in the auditorium of the Mount Clemens Public Library, MCGG member Robert McGarry will present Draft Records -- Not Just for Those Who Served. 

If you are in the Mt. Clemens area, PLEASE JOIN US.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Monday, April 6, 2015

This Wednesday's Let's Talk...Genealogy Topic is: Making a Visit and Research Plan for a Trip to an Archives/Library -- Part 1

originally posted on April 6, 2015 at 3:57 p.m.

This Wednesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the Genealogy/Local History Room of the Mount Clemens Public Library is MCGG's Let's Talk...Genealogy meeting. The discussion topic of the night is Making a Visit and Research Plan for a Trip to an Archives/Library -- Part 1.

We're planning a field trip to the Archives of Michigan. We'll learn how to plan a visit (use the website) and create a research plan for that trip to make best use of your time. These tips will work with any library/archives. Attendees of the trip are encouraged to briefly talk about their plans at our June meeting.
See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The New Film/Fiche Scanner is Here and Ready to Use at Mt. Clemens Public Library's Genealogy & Local History Room

Mt. Clemens Public Library's
New Digital Film/Fiche Scanner
The digital film/fiche scanner was installed yesterday, the library staff and genealogy volunteers received some training and guidance on using the new equipment, and after a few more tweaks today, the new digital film/fiche scanner is ready for public use in the Genealogy and Local History Room of the Mount Clemens Public Library.

Patrons can print or scan to digital file using this scanner.  To save to a digital file, bring in your USB Flash Drive. If you forget yours, you can buy a 4 GB drive from the information desk for $5.25.
If you are not sure how to use the new equipment, PLEASE ASK a staff member or volunteer to show you. There is also a help video and PDF guide on scanner's computer.

Thank you to all that donated and made it possible to purchase this wonderful piece of technology. We are still looking to purchase one more and continue to request donations. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you can send your donation (checks made payable to the library) to the Mount Clemens Public Library, 150 Cass Avenue, Mount Clemens, MI 48043.

Remember, the one remaining traditional film/fiche printer has been fixed using the parts of the older machine and is still available for use.

See you soon at the Mt Clemens Public Library!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Update on HeritageQuest Revolutionary Pension/Bounty-Land Collection Update

We thought we had heard that the US Revolutionary Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files were changing from the digitized images of the selected microfilming of the files to the complete microfilming of the files but it did not seem to be the case when we looked at the collection during our March Let's Talk...Genealogy meeting. That darn header card "Selected" was still there directly after each file's summary cover which resembles an index card.

Looks can be deceiving ... it is true this collection is now the complete pension/bounty-land file.

Taking a closer look at the images that make up a "file" and reading the descriptive pamphlet to the microfilm series reminded us how the images actually appear on the actual microfilms. (It's been a long time since we looked at one of these files on the actual microfilm.) 

When the actual pension/bounty-land files were microfilmed long ago, they were imaged in a certain way. First the file cover which resembles an index card was filmed; then a header card with "Selected" was filmed followed by certain pages chosen from that file; then a header card with "Nonselected" was filmed followed by the remaining pages in that file. Files with lesser amount of pages were not treated in this manner.  So when HeritageQuest first digitized the microfilm it decided to just do this first part of each file, the selected pages. Now with the update the second part of the file, the nonselected pages, has been added making the files complete.

These are the same pages in the Revolutionary Pension/Bounty-Land collection over at Fold3, but they were digitized differently. Fold3 decided to scan the pages as grayscale images while HeritageQuest did black and white images of the microfilm. The collection at Fold3 does not have digital images of the Selected/Nonselected header cards that appear on the film. (We think this is because those header cards are not in the actual files at the archives.) 

So if you can't read something on a page in one collection, look at it in the collection of the other site. One helpful thing Fold3 does, that HeritageQuest does not do, is provide a total count of pages in each pension/bounty-land file. Just remember the total page count of each file at HeritageQuest is two more than the total page count at Fold3 because of those two header cards.

What we said about the search index for the HeritageQuest collection is true. It is still just an index of the soldiers/pensioners (widows too if they got one) who have a file. In contrast, the index at Fold3 is an every name index which allows you to find people mentioned in the files of others. 

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Crabtree Presents Gift to MCGG for Mount Clemens Public Library's Genealogy Equipment Fund

Marietta Crabtree presents gift check to Robert McGarry.
Recently, Marietta Crabtree presented the Macomb County Genealogy Group with a check for the Mount Clemens Public Library genealogy equipment fund in gratitude of the help she received giving her husband one last Christmas gift.

Mrs. Crabtree decided to give her dying husband a printed book of his genealogy work. But she ran into a problem trying to print the file. So Mrs. Crabtree contacted a few organizations independently (the Michigan Genealogical Council, the Mt. Clemens Public Library and the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research.) All paths led to our chairperson Ann Faulkner and the Macomb County Genealogy Group (MCGG) which eventually led to Robert (Bob) McGarry, one of our members with some techie skills.

The effort involved a bit more than originally thought due to older genealogy software and newer operating systems but eventually McGarry found a way. It was discovered that the estimated few hundred pages was more like 7,160 pages.

Mrs. Crabtree was able to present her husband with a printed book of some of his work and the knowledge that the rest would also be printed.

MCGG extends our condolences to Mrs. Crabtree and her family; thanks her for her donation; and thanks Bob McGarry for his effort and work making this happen.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

HeritageQuest Received Redesign and New Features Earlier this Month

HeritageQuest Website
HeritageQuest, the subscription website available to patrons while in Michigan libraries and at home through the Michigan Electronic Library, received a redesign and some new features earlier this month.

Just in case you do not recall, Michigan residents can access HeritageQuest from home through the Michigan Electronic Library [ ] website. The service is free for Michigan residents. Access to the site uses your Michigan Driver License/State Identification Card or participating Michigan Library Card. If you live in another state, check to see if your state has a similar arrangement.  

"The enhancements are a result of the expanded partnership and distribution agreement between ProQuest [the provider of HeritageQuest] and Ancestry announced last June [2014.]," according to a press release earlier this month.

Here is a overview of the changes and additions to the website.

HeritageQuest Website
Before HeritageQuest had limited search capabilities and its own version of the census page images. Now HeritageQuest is utilizing Ancestry's census images and search engine -- that means an every name index with the power of Exact, Soundex, Phonetic and Wildcard search capabilities. The site is also using the images scanned by now.

This is wonderful news for anyone who is a resident of Michigan (or another state with a similar agreement) and does not have a personal subscription to

The Family and Local History Publications collection has been added to and now includes city directories. The search engine for this collection has also been redesigned. The three categories, People, Publications and Directories, each present the user with different search parameters. In addition, users now receive a thumbnail image of the hit and hit terms are highlighted.

We thought we had heard that the US Revolutionary Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files were changing from the digitized images of the selected microfilming of the files to the complete microfilming of the files but this does not seem to be the case after further investigation. Evidence shows that this collection is still the selected files even though the collection description no longer indicates this. Also, the search index is still just an index of soldiers/pensioners with files and not an every name index.

There seems to be more search parameters to utilize for the Freedman's Bank collection on the updated website. The collection description does not clearly state if all surviving records have been added to this collection or if more are to come in the future.

The search engine to the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) collection has not been updated because this is now an archived collection. The information in this collection covers articles from the years 1800 to 2009. Categories to search under remain: People, Places, How To's and Periodicals.

To access PERSI covering the years after 2009 (or the complete PERSI from 1800 to present) you will need to see the subscription website FindMyPast which has the current agreement to host the online version of PERSI. If you don't have a FindMyPast subscription, you can use the portal services to access it (and other premium websites) while visiting a local Family History Center (FamilySearch Center) at a nearby LDS Church. The only cost would be for printouts or bring a USB drive with you to download any finds.

Also unchanged is the U.S. Serial Set which is used to find memorials, petitions and private relief actions of the U.S. Congress. It still uses the old HeritageQuest search engine.
HeritageQuest Website

A Research Aids collection and a Maps collection are the new features on HeritageQuest.

There are a variety of tips and guides in the Research Aids collection covering six major research areas: Getting Started, Census, Beyond the Basics, Immigration, Military and Ethnic. Expand your genealogy researching knowledge by learning something new.

HeritageQuest Website

The complete title of to the Maps collection is actually Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. These maps allow you to see boundary changes for individual states or the entire United States through the decades from 1790 to 1920.

We hope you find some time to investigate this website and make some finds for your research.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Michigan Death Certificates 1921 to 1939 are NOW ONLINE at

Did you hear the news?

The Archives of Michigan released the long awaited next installment of digitized Michigan Death Certificates at its website, earlier today. These certificates cover the years 1921 to 1939. With each passing year, another year of certificates will be released for viewing.

So if the internet is a little slow today maybe its all of us researchers trying to find that next new find.

Have fun searching!

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!